Publish Date: 08/20/2022
Fact checked by: Mark Lewis
Kendall had a small body of work for the decade as he was a rookie in 1996. That rookie season, he batted .300 and was third in the voting for rookie of the year. He had the rare speed for a catcher and was a great contact hitter. If he had played the whole decade, he would probably rank in the top 3. Kendall was an excellent baseball player.
Stanley was just an average player until 1993, and from then until the end of the decade, he turned into an excellent hitter averaging 21 home runs and 73 RBI from 1993 through the 1999 campaign.
He spent the first seven seasons in Oakland, posting a 106 OPS+ and averaging 14 home runs, 63 RBI. Steinbach had been an all-star in 1988 and 1989 before the decade started. However, Steinbach had the best season of his career in 1996 when he hit 35 home runs and drove in 100 runs.
During four years from 1991-94, Tettleton posted a 135 OPS+ while averaging 28 home runs and 83 RBI with a .387 on-base percentage. He won two Silver Slugger awards during those four years.
Hoiles never made an All-Star team, but he had one of the best seasons of the decade by a catcher in 1993 when he hit .310/.416/.585 with 28 doubles, 29 home runs, and 82 RBI. Hoiles’s entire career was spent in Baltimore, and he was an above-average offensive player and an excellent defensive catcher.
Alomar’s best season was in the 1997 season, hitting .324/.354/.545 with 37 doubles, 21 home runs, and 83 RBI. Alomar was the rookie of the year in 1990 and, in that season, won a Gold Glove award.
Lopez won the 1996 NLCS MVP when he went 13-for-24 with five doubles and two home runs. 1998 was Lopez’s best season when he hit 34-homer and 106-RBI season. Lopez was an all-star in 1997 and 1998.
Daulton was excellent during the 1992 and 1993 seasons and helped lead the Phillies to the World Series in 1993. He was solid in the other years during the decade and won a World Series ring in 1997 with the Marlins.
Piazza’s rookie season was one of the best in history as he hit .318/.370/.561 for 153 OPS+ with 35 home runs and 112 RBI. Piazza was maybe the most excellent hitting catcher of all time; defense was an issue, though, for Piazza. For the decade, Piazza averaged 34 home runs and 109 RBIs per season. Defense is why Piazza finishes second here, but he was a better defender than what he was given credit for; but all around, Piazza is number 2.
Rodriguez could do it all, and he did through the entire decade. Rodriguez won a Gold Glove and made the All-Star team in each of the final eight years of the ’90s, adding six Silver Slugger Awards for good measure. During the decade, he slowly became a better hitter each year, culminating in an MVP award for the 1999 season.